by CG Staff
A number of Cornhusker Guardian readers have recently complained about a lack of reliability involving the Nebraska Right to Life Political Action Committee when it comes to its election endorsements.
The most glaring and complaint-ridden example involves the Secretary of State’s race between challenger Robert Borer and incumbent Bob Evnen.
An examination of the Nebraska Right to Life Political Action Committee endorsement in that race showed Mr. Borer answered the question as to when abortion should be legal by responding “in no case.” This is the best and highest “right to life” answer. It is the gold standard. Mr. Evnen, however, answered it by saying that he believes abortion should be legal “to prevent the death of the mother.”
To understand the higher quality of Mr. Borer’s answer, however, one must first understand the following things:
- Abortion is always the direct and intended killing of a baby in the womb.
- The direct and intended killing of a child is NEVER morally licit.
- The question itself as answered by Mr. Evnen presumes a “fact” that is not in evidence, viz., that the direct and intended killing of a baby is somehow “necessary” to prevent the death of the mother.
- There is a philosophical concept known as the “principle of double effect.” It was developed many hundreds of years ago by Thomas Aquinas, and it is set forth in his magnum opus, Summa Theologiae.
- The principle of double effect lays out ethical criteria for approving a course of action when performance of an otherwise legitimate and wholly intended act (in this case, saving the mother’s life) could also have an indirect, unintended and unavoidable effect that a physician would otherwise be obliged to avoid (viz., causing the death of a child in the womb).
How does this apply with respect to the question asked by the Nebraska Right to Life Political Action Committee?
The Cornhusker Guardian interviewed an eminent physician who has delivered babies across a distinguished career. To shield this practitioner from harassment by pro-abortion “cancel culture“ zealots, we are not identifying this medical doctor by name. The key take aways from the interview, however, were these:
- The physician said it is never “necessary” to perform an abortion to save the life of the mother. This is a medical canard, especially in today’s modern era of medicine, almost 60 years removed from the far less advanced medical science that existed at the time of Roe v. Wade.
- Medical science has advanced to the point that there are alternatives that can be applied “in utero” for the benefit of the baby, and the baby can in fact be delivered early if that course of action should prove necessary in order to treat the mother. In such event, the medical doctors still do all they can to save the baby, even though the delivery sometimes is so early that their efforts fail. This is much different from performing an abortion on the baby, because abortion is always the direct and intended killing of a baby, which is never morally licit.
- The philosophical principle of “double effect” instead allows the following approach: a physician can try to save the mother’s life by treating her (e.g., if she is diagnosed with cancer), even if this would have the tragic but unavoidable and wholly unintended and indirect secondary effect of shortening the baby’s life.
- Even in that context, however, the doctors must still do all they can to save the baby’s life, using medical technology to the maximum extent for the benefit of the baby. No respectable physician who adheres to the Hippocratic Oath would ever perform an abortion, which is the direct and intended killing of a baby.
For the foregoing reasons, Robert Borer gave the true pro-life answer. Bob Evnen did not.
Sadly, the Nebraska Right to Life Political Action Committee’s apparent unreliability in endorsing the best candidate spilled over into races beyond that involving the contest for Secretary of State.
The Nebraska Right to Life Political Action Committee also endorsed District 2 Republican Congressional incumbent Don Bacon, even though his opponent, Stephen Kuehl had the superior pro-life position. Endorsed District 3 Republican Congressional incumbent Adrian Smith also fell short of the pro-life gold standard.
Based on the printed survey answers, however, the following state-level candidates did in fact meet the pro-life gold standard:
District 1 Congressional Candidate – Mike Flood
All Republican Candidates for Governor except Troy Wentz
Republican Candidates – Incumbent John Murante and challenger Paul Anderson
Attorney General – Mike Hilgers
State Auditor – Mike Foley
Robert Clements (District 2 Incumbent)
Roger von Gillen (District 4)
Merv Riepe (District 12)
Ben Hansen (District 16 Incumbent)
Mike Moser (District 22 Incumbent)
Roy Zach (District 22)
Bob VanValkenberg (District 26)
Loren Lipincott (District 34)
Rick Holdcroft (District 36)
Keith Kube (District 40)
Mark Patefield (District 40)
Mike Jacobson (District 42 Incumbent)
Chris Bruns (District 42)
Talon Cordle (District 48)
Board of Education
Kirk Penner (Incumbent District 5)
Sherry Jones (District 6)
Elizabeth Tegtmeier (District 7)
Marni Hodgen (District 8)
Board of Regents
Nolan Gurnsey (District 7)
Kathy Wilmot (District 7)
The Cornhusker Guardian emailed an official of Nebraska Right to Life Political Action Committee early yesterday asking why candidates with the superior “gold standard” pro-life positions did not receive endorsement over those with inferior positions. No answer to that inquiry has as yet been received.